Skip to main content

Vanlife is calling, but man! A camper van can cost a seriously pretty penny. This $10,000 used camper van proves that you can actually find a livable van for around $10 grand. It’s a minibus camper conversion that will show you what’s out there, giving those that pine for life off the grid a chance to actually do so for a relatively small initial investment.

Ford E350 minibus camper conversion in a grayish green, parked on a gravel drive.
E350 Minibus Camper | Vanlife Trader

The $10,000 used minibus camper van

This minibus camper is a cool example of what RV shoppers can get in a used camper van for less than $10,000. It’s equipped with a fully converted livable interior. It’s a 1992 Ford E350 Shortbus with a neutral greenish-gray exterior and 200,000 miles on the odometer, listed on Vanlife Trader. This may seem high, but Motor and Wheels says that a Ford E-Series can last between 400,000-500,000 miles if it’s well-maintained.

A shortbus like this is comparable to the E350 vans in terms of maximum mileage. This camper offers solar, a stove, and even a furnace for winter travel. It has a diesel engine, so the fuel economy might be better than a gasoline option––depending on the fully-loaded weight.

Overall, this bus is a bit quirky. But it’s a promising picture of what buyers can expect for the $10,000 price point. It boasts off-road tires. In addition, the tires appear to have many miles to go before they’ll need replacing.   

But this Ford E-Series shortbus conversion only has 1 seatbelt

interior finish of the ford e350 minibus camper van convserion
Ford E350 Minibus Conversion | Vanlife Trader

According to the description, this 1992 E350 shortbus conversion only has one seat with a seatbelt. However, it sleeps three. This definitely could pose a problem. 

This type of interesting detail is worth noting for anyone who is perusing the web for their next adventure vehicle. While these conversions can look appealing in the photos, it’s important to pay attention to the little things. 

In fact, this problem exemplifies that there will almost always end up needing to be fixed before heading out on your first adventure in a freshly-bought used camper van in this price bracket. This minibus camper conversion is absolutely charming. However, it’s wise to do plenty of research before throwing down the cash. 

Finding a good used van for $10,000

Ford E350 Minibus Camper
Ford E350 Minibus Camper | Vanlife Trader

Only 1 Full-Size Pickup Truck Earned a ‘Best Buy’ Badge From Consumer Guide

So, if you have about $10 grand to spend, you’ll likely end up with something older, with over 100,000 miles on it (although not always). As with any used item, it can pay to take your time browsing sales ads. It’s usually best to give yourself several months looking for what you want than rushing into anything. 

It’s also generally better to look for vehicles with a clean title. Also, get as much information about each prospective vehicle as possible. The last thing any RV shopper wants is to try saving initially only to end up having to put a bunch of money into repairs, etc., down the road. 

A good used camper van under $10,000 is definitely worth the hunt. However, when buying older and high mileage vehicles, proceed with caution. While these campers can prove reliable and ready for your next adventure, they can also be a headache for vanlife beginners that aren’t mechanically savvy.